Sunday, October 21, 2012

Heritage Food: You Say Plachinda, I Say Blachenda

I'd like to share on this blog some of the foods that my mom made that are part of the Germans from Russia heritage.  Since my mom and grandma aren't around (and other relatives live in another state) to share these with my son, I feel that it's important to share them with him myself.  If I don't make them every year, at least I will have them recorded somewhere.

The first recipe I'd like to share is taken directly from an in-law family reunion cookbook from my sister, Marcia.  Basically it's for pumpkin turnovers or tarts.   There are different versions of the filling, but basically it consists of pumpkin with the usual spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Sometimes pepper is added.  Speaking of different versions, there are also different versions on the spelling.  In the church cookbooks I have, I've seen it called plachenda, blachenda, plachinda, or blachinda.

I highly approve of this recipe!  I usually don't make my own pie crust (or pies for that matter) and figured out it was easier to handle the dough after it is chilled.   Since I made very small tarts which were easier for my son to handle, I had a lot of filling left over and improvised by adding an egg and making a pie.  Yum!



2-1/4 c. flour                               1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder               2/3 c. shortening
1/2 tsp. salt                                 1/4 c. milk

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and shortening as for pie dough.  Add milk and mix lightly. 


2 c. cooked pumpkin                  1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar                                1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt                                1/4 tsp. allspice

Mix filling ingredients thoroughly.  Divide dough into six equal parts; roll out to about 7 inch rounds.  Place 3 heaping tablespoons pumpkin filling in the center of each round.  Fold over and seal edges.  Prick tops with fork.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.  

When my mom would make them, I remember the dough being less sweet with less shortening.  She would always try to make a recipe healthier, so I guess that's where I get some of my habits from.  She probably would've tried it with Splenda or Agave nectar nowadays, maybe even would've added chia or ground flax seeds.